Colleges and Universities: Non-Fraternization

Colleges and universities that promote a professional, healthy work environment often find it helpful to establish certain rules governing employees’ personal relationships. These guidelines can help the institution manage situations that could present liability concerns or lead to inappropriate behavior.

Generally, an institution might create a policy for relationships between:

  • Employees and students.
  • Supervisors and subordinates.

Such policies can help organizations:

  • Manage legal risk.
  • Reduce uncomfortable or inappropriate workplace settings.
  • Prevent sexual harassment.

Accordingly, colleges and universities may wish to include a “non-fraternization” policy in their employment handbook to help prevent the legal, emotional, and social issues that can stem from inappropriate personal relationships in the workplace.



[Name of college or university] desires to maintain a workplace environment that is professional, appropriate, and based on mutual trust and respect. This policy is intended primarily to establish rules for the conduct of personal relationships between: (i) an employee and a student, and (ii) a supervisor and a subordinate. For purposes of this policy, a “personal relationship” shall mean a relationship between individuals who have a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

Employee and Student: Unless otherwise consented to by [name of college or university], any personal relationship between an employee and a student is prohibited.

Supervisor and Subordinate: Unless otherwise consented to by [name of college or university], any personal relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate is prohibited.


All employees are expected to exercise good judgment and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner that does not interfere with [name of college or university’s] work environment or productivity. This standard applies to any personal relationship governed by this policy, as well as to any personal relationship between employees of this institution.

Any employees who believe or suspect in good faith that this policy has been violated should report this information to their supervisor or [insert name of other reporting avenue].

[Name of college or university] shall promptly investigate any potential or reported violation of this policy and deal with the situation on a case-by-case basis. If it finds that this policy has been violated, resolving the situation may involve (but is not limited to) the following options:

  • Transferring an employee to another position.
  • Taking disciplinary action.
  • Terminating employment.

This policy does not preclude or interfere with the rights of employees protected by the National Labor Relations Act or any other applicable statute concerning the employment relationship.

Any questions about this policy may be directed to your supervisor [or name of appropriate department].

This is a sample handbook policy only. Your organization is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. Accordingly, this document should not be used or adopted by your organization without first being reviewed and approved by a licensed attorney in your area. Brotherhood Mutual assumes no liability in preparation and distribution of this sample document.

Working Together © 2022 Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Updated 9/2021.